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If you had to choose.... where to stay?

Albany, New York
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If you had to choose.... where to stay?

We are on a limited budget... which one of the following would you recommend for the Big 5 in March (heard the bush is not as full and therefore easier to see in March). We can only afford one of these choices:

1. Two days at Elephant Plains

2. Two days at Gomo Gomo

3. Four days at SAN parks Skukuza with SAN parks game drives.

Thanks!

Florida
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1. Re: If you had to choose.... where to stay?

1. Two days at Elephant Plains

See my trip report, Parts I and II.

UK, Mauritius
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for Mauritius, Belle Mare, Pointe Aux Piments, Pereybere
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2. Re: If you had to choose.... where to stay?

Four days at sanparks with one at Skukuza and the other three days at another rest camp. There are lots of camps to choose from on sanparks website.

I would imagine the other two are pretty expensive. Its much more fun doing it yourself, and we saw so many animals we were even blase about it towards the end of our stay. Lower Sabie was excellent towards Crocodile Bridge. We saw loads of lion, even one with a kill.

Some people tend to think that the private reserves are a bit artificial, as some say they actually import animals. Kruger is massive.

Limpopo, South...
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3. Re: If you had to choose.... where to stay?

Without a doubt, two days at Ele Plains. I visit Kruger regularly every year, and I love the place! But nothing in Kruger will beat the quality of game viewing you will enjoy at Ele Plains (or Gomo Gomo)

Port Elizabeth
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for South Africa
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4. Re: If you had to choose.... where to stay?

It really depends what your priority is.

Going to a private lodge is more of an overall experience. It is about being spolit and cooked for and woken up in time etc. etc. There is often entertainment at night.

SAN Parks is more for people who have been to a game reserve, have ticked all boxes on the Big 5 list and are prepared to drive themselves and spend 15 minutes watching the mating routine of a black-bellied korhaan, without being rushed to yet another lion.

Shrewsbury
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for Barcelona
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5. Re: If you had to choose.... where to stay?

I'm with Bronia and I think lamlee describes it pretty well - I've stayed on a private reserve (not one of the Kruger ones) and feel that the accommodation was almost as memorable as the wildlife - but I much preferred Kruger main park where the animlas come first. That said, I'd be fascinated to observe the mating ritual of any Korhaan.

Not Skukuza, though. Too busy - try Lower Sabie or Letaba, maybe. Shingwedzi and Punda Maria are delightful but remote and hard to get to.

London, United...
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6. Re: If you had to choose.... where to stay?

Hello,

Since you've listed the Big Five as a priority, I'd recommend Elephant Plains. You're much more likely to see the Big Five on a private reserve where you'll have a professional ranger and tracker to spot the animals, and can drive off-road to follow tracks.

NB the person who said that the bush is thinner in March is incorrect -- it's actually very thick as it's the end of the green season, when the growth is at its fullest and things have not started to dry up and die back as they will during the African winter (June - October). This is another reason to go with a private reserve and a professional ranger and tracker as spotting animals in the thick bush (even when you have been on many safaris) can be challenging.

Cheers,

Julian

7. Re: If you had to choose.... where to stay?

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